Shelley’s story

I’m a 44 year old garden designer from Verwood. I have 4 children and have always given up my time during the winter months to support the homeless in our area.

Six months ago I met up with Claire Matthews and became more involved with her Charity, Hope For Food.

I was inspired and enthused by her compassion and drive to help the homeless and struggling families in the Bournemouth area.

I began volunteering at one of their four soup kitchen nights and was welcomed by their equally compassionate committee members.

It wasn’t long before I was also liaising with my local supermarket, Morrisons and an agreement was set up between them and Hope for Food to supply their surplus fruit and vegetables, three times a week.

The organisation and support they have from so many like minded individuals inspired me to do as much as I could to help them.

I was asked to join the committee and proudly became a part of their hard working team.

I was overwhelmed at the support the team offers to 50 – 80 people a night at each soup kitchen and over 300 struggling families.

I now run the soup kitchen once a week with another committee member, collect donations from home, help to sort and organise donations taken from the public, drive the charity’s van, loaded with these sorted clothing and bedding donations, hand them out to those in need of warmth and dry items at the soup kitchen and sort and deliver surplus Morrisons food for our wonderful volunteer cooks twice a week.

I am proud to continue to work as part of this amazing team, they certainly are the heart of the charity.

I absolutely cherish the time I spend helping the homeless at the soup kitchen with such a fantastic array of different characters, getting to know them and hearing their stories every week.

This will always be a part of me now and I will always be there for the charity and those that depend on us.